There are 2 main definitions of gem in English:

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gem 1

Pronunciation: /dʒɛm/


1A precious or semi-precious stone, especially when cut and polished or engraved: a pagoda embellished with precious gems
More example sentences
  • These ornaments are made in silver, and precious and semi-precious gems are used to embellish them.
  • On display are approximately two hundred examples of semiprecious and precious gems, decorative stones, and outstanding pieces of jewelry.
  • Members were instructed in the various settings of precious stones and gems.
jewel, precious stone, semi-precious stone, stone, solitaire, brilliant, baguette, cabochon
archaic bijou
1.1Used in names of some brilliantly coloured hummingbirds, e.g. mountain gem.
2An outstanding person or thing: this architectural gem of a palace
More example sentences
  • The cathedral is now a vibrant and living component of the cultural and religious life of Waterford city and is one of our most treasured architectural gems.
  • Now you can find all of these wonderful pop gems living in a different world.
  • One of the city's architectural gems is to be restored to glory by a multi-million pound revamp - but some of Manchester's oldest trees will be felled in the process.
best, finest, pride, prize, treasure, glory, wonder, flower, pearl, jewel, the jewel in the crown, masterpiece, chef-d'œuvre, leading light, pick, choice, paragon, prime, cream, the crème de la crème, elite, elect;
outstanding example, shining example, perfect example of its kind, model, epitome, archetype, ideal, exemplar, nonpareil, paradigm, embodiment, personification, quintessence, standard, prototype, apotheosis, acme
informal one in a million, the bee's knees, something else, the tops

verb (gems, gemming, gemmed)

[with object] (usually as adjective gemmed) literary
Decorate with or as with gems: a gemmed necklace tiny drops of sweat gemmed his forehead
More example sentences
  • With the gemmed undergarments being worth a reputed £10,000, to not show them to anybody would be even more pointless than making them in the first place.
  • Their cheeks are gemmed with tears lit pink in the coming sun.
  • Because he squirmed in protest as she tried to remove his gilded, gemmed gauntlets, she had to leave them on.



Example sentences
  • Its 14 gem-like songs remain true to the deepest traditions of fado, the breathtakingly lyrical and melancholic music of Portugal.
  • Set, gem-like, between the mountains and the sea, Cape Town is a spectacular city.
  • Rob stared, in awe, his eyes large and glassy and gem-like.


Pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛmi/
Example sentences
  • In the first two years of mining, forty-three pockets have been discovered, two of which have produced large gemmy crystals of tourmaline rivaling the best material that Mount Mica has produced in its 185-year record.
  • These crystals, ranging in size from less than 2.5 cm to 10 cm across, have been found with fine, gemmy smoky quartz crystals from a few centimeters to over 30 cm long.
  • When any new material appears in quantity - especially something as exciting as these gemmy and perfect crystals - there is always speculation about where it comes from.


Old English gim, from Latin gemma 'bud, jewel'; influenced in Middle English by Old French gemme.

Words that rhyme with gem

ahem, Belém, Clem, condemn, contemn, crème de la crème, em, hem, Jem, LibDem, phlegm, pro tem, rem, Shem, stem, them

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Line breaks: gem

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There are 2 main definitions of gem in English:

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Entry from US English dictionary


Ground-effect machine.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: GEM

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